French auto components maker Faurecia has set up a new, expanded R&D facility at Pune to grow the Asia business.

The new Tech Centre will cater to conceptualising, designing and validation for products in automotive interior systems, automotive seating and auto exteriors, three of its four business groups.

Asia-Pacific is a top priority for Faurecia Interior Systems (FIS), Mr Christophe Schmitt, Executive Vice-President, FIS said. He added that in India, Pune, Chennai and Delhi are the three main clusters the company will follow.

The Group is targeting sales from the APAC region to touch €4 billion by 2015. While the main growth will come from China, India is also important, he said, adding, “Our goal is that 50 per cent of our global sales will come from outside Europe by 2015.” Currently, Europe accounts for 62 per cent of its business.

Faurecia’s R&D Centre at Pune has already been operational since 2004 and has filed two patents last year. This year the company has a target to file five patents. Set up with an investment of Rs 110 crore, the new Tech Centre is an autonomous, fully integrated facility designed to accommodate 800 engineers, of which 600 are already on board.

Mr Schmitt said that the company aims to develop products that are high on safety, quality and comfort here.

Globally, nearly 39 per cent of Faurecia’s revenues come from German automakers including VW, BMW and Daimler.

The premium brands represent 28 per cent of revenue worldwide. In India it supplies components to OEMs such as Mercedes, M&M, Hyundai and Ford.

The Pune Tech Centre is Faurecia’s second centre in India after Bangalore where Emission Control Technologies are developed. The company also has nine manufacturing plants in the country.

(This article was published on June 21, 2012)
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